Summer break from school is about 12 weeks long. It’s not nearly long enough—especially for kiddos—but plenty of time to check these 12 adult and family-friendly Glenwood Springs activities off your summer vacation bucket list.
- Experience Hot Springs. Glenwood Springs is Colorado’s favorite hot springs hot spot, and it’s no wonder. From splashing to soaking and steaming, there’s no one way to immerse yourself in the town’s geothermal amenities. Glenwood Springs is home to three hot springs attractions, each one offering visitors a unique experience.
- Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is a favorite for families, especially with the addition of the Sopris Splash Zone, complete with a fast-moving adventure river tube ride. It’s also the town’s largest and most historic hot springs, operating since 1888!
- Iron Mountain Hot Springs and the new 21-plus UpRiver expansion offer smaller soaking pools with river views, as well as specialty pools including a cold plunge and those that feature water “recipes” that mimic the mineral content of famous hot springs from around the globe.
- If you like steam baths, you won’t want to miss a visit to Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves. Steam from the source spring fills channels along the walls in underground caverns for a therapeutic full-body experience.
- Go Whitewater Rafting. Glenwood Canyon is gorgeous and, in summer, there’s no better way to experience it than rafting through it. The Colorado River turns into a hydraulic raceway that speeds rafters downriver through roiling rapids – class 1-3. Rafting guides provide all the gear and know-how needed. Hang on tight though and remember to paddle!
- Savor an Outdoor Concert. Nothing says summer like a concert in the great outdoors. Join Glenwood Springs residents on Wednesday evenings for Summer of Music, a six-week series that features local talent, as well as headliner bands from around the country. Concerts take place at Two Rivers Park and are funded by donations, so be generous. Other places to catch music al fresco include Music on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Bethel Plaza under the Grand Avenue Bridge, and Hotel Colorado’s beautiful courtyard.
- Opt-in for Thrills and Chills at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Take fun to the extreme at America’s only mountaintop theme park located in Glenwood Springs. Thrill rides go sky-high, especially with the addition of Defiance, the park’s new rollercoaster. But there’s more for adrenaline junkies including the Giant Canyon Swing, Canyon Flyer, Cliffhanger Rollercoaster, Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, and Alpine Coaster. To take a breather and cool off, head underground for a cave tour where the temps are always cool, no matter how high the mercury climbs on a summer day.
- Ride your Bike. Glenwood Springs is a bike-friendly town. Two paved trails provide miles of smooth riding. The Rio Grande Trail follows the Roaring Fork River for 42 miles between Glenwood Springs and Aspen. The Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path travels along the Colorado River for 18 miles through the scenic canyon. If you don’t want to lug your bike along on vacation, no problem. Glenwood Springs outfitters rent bikes, even electric ones to take the grind out of uphill portions, and most offer shuttle drop offs.
- Attend Strawberry Days. Glenwood’s biggest summer bash takes place every summer in June. The weekend-long event includes a parade with free strawberries and ice cream afterward, a huge artisan fair, food booths, a family fest and a full lineup of entertainment. Strawberry Days is a popular summertime attraction, so make your Glenwood Springs lodging reservations early.
- Hike to Hanging Lake. From start to finish, hiking to this stunning National Natural Landmark in Glenwood Canyon is a highlight for visitors. The hike is challenging—be prepared with solid footwear and plenty of hydration—but the views are worth the effort. The crystal-clear lake is fed by a spectacular triple waterfall. Some things to keep in mind: purchase a reservation to hike Hanging Lake in advance and dogs and fishing are not allowed.
- Go for Showstopping Laughs. Glenwood Vaudeville Revue will have you in stitches—the good kind—as you laugh yourself silly. The show stars professional actors and includes a variety of acts suitable for all ages including comedy, skits, music, and dance numbers. In addition to entertainment, the showhouse also serves dinner and drinks.
- Fish for Rainbows. The Roaring Fork River is world-renowned as a fly-fishing In addition to rainbow trout, its waters are home to thriving populations of browns and cutthroats. There is ample river access all along the Rio Grande and Atkinson Canal Trails for easy shore casting. Guided fishing trips are also available and offer the advantage of going with a local who knows where to go and what the finicky fish are feeding on at the moment.
- Freshen Up at the Farmers’ Market. Variety is the spice of life, they say. At Glenwood’s farmers’ markets, you’ll find plenty of fresh produce and more from which to choose from. Home to two markets, the Tuesday Market on 7th takes place along the river street and features live music and crafts in addition to garden-grown goodies. The Saturday Farmers’ Market is strictly food-focused. Look for it on weekends in the parking lot of the administrative offices of Glenwood Springs High School, on Grand Avenue across the street from City Market.
- Lift Off with Paragliding. Go over and above with a tandem paragliding ride that launches from the peak of Red Mountain. As you soar through the air, you’ll feel a rush of adrenaline. But once you settle in, you’ll also notice the breathtaking views of Glenwood Springs from a bird’s eye vantage point. Paragliding in Glenwood Springs is truly an unforgettable experience and one you won’t want to miss.
- Take a Scenic Drive. Glenwood Springs is surrounded by some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes in Colorado. Some ideas for day drives include Independence Pass that straddles the Continental Divide, and the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway that goes through Redstone and over McClure Pass home to an aspen grove, one of the largest living organisms on the planet. West of Glenwood Springs off Interstate 70, Rifle Falls offers picnic areas, short hikes and, of course, waterfalls.
Summer will be here before you know it, and then the weeks will fly by. Get a head start on family fun, learn more and start planning your Glenwood Springs summer vacation today!
Download the official Glenwood Springs Travel Guide